The XJR-9 was the car that finally gave a Le Mans victory to Jaguar in 1988, after years of Porsche dominance. One of the XJR-9's that participated in the 1988 Le Mans 24 hours was bought by the Jaguar importer in the Netherlands. It was displayed in the showroom for years, and it was driven around circuits on a number of occasions. These days it's quietly resting in the garage. In 1995, we paid a visit to the Jaguar importer. We were allowed to do a very detailed investigation of the car, from both an engineering standpoint (as future aerospace engineers with a high interest in race car design), as well as a modelling standpoint.
According to the chassis plate, the car was a 'Model XJR-9, Chassis number J12-C-186, Build date January 1988'. According to 'Jaguar XJR Group-C & GTP cars', this chassis started life as the first chassis built in 1986, then an XJR-6. Later it was modified to a -8, and then to -9. Late in its career, it was used by TWR as a development car, on which the Le Mans package was tested. In 1988 it was entered in the Le Mans 24 hours as one of the two IMSA-crewed cars (apart from the three regular Group-C teams). It had number 22, and was driven by Derek Daley (Ireland), Kevin Cogan (USA) and Larry Perkins (Australia). It finished in 4rd place. The car we saw was still in Le Mans trim, with a low wing. It looked flawless, and my guess is that it must have had at least a thorough cleaning after the race.
Tamiya, Hasegawa and Arii have issued 1/24 scale models of the XJR-8/9.
The Tamiya kit is a fully detailed 1988 XJR-9LM in Silk Cut colors. I started building the Tamiya model a long time ago, mainly using the box top art to add details. The 1:1 car depicted here showed some small differences with the model's box-art:
Hasegawa issued five kits. All kits are curbsides with no engine or suspension.
The Arii kit (#712) is a motorized 1/24 scale kit of XJR-8LM. It has a clear plastic body, RE280 motor, battery pack, slick tires, and chassis that is likely made of nylon. It is not meant to be built as a detailed scale model.
A number of aftermarket accessories are available for the XJR-9:
|S&S Specialties||Studio 27 FP2410||SMS #7114||SMS #8114||Renaissance TK 24/106|
A very good reference on the XJR-9 is 'Jaguar XJR Group-C & GTP cars - A technical appraisal of the V12 cars' by Ian Bamsley; it deals with the Jaguar XJR-5 and TWR-Jaguar XJR-6/8/9. It was published in 1989 by Foulis Motoring Books; ISBN 0-85429-752-9. Another book that could prove useful (I haven't seen it) is 'Jaguar XJ Racers' by Unique Motor Books (no date known). It consists of reprints of articles from a wide variety of English motoring magazines. Discussed are the Jaguar XJR-6, 8, 9, 11, 12 and XJR-13 racers as well as the Jaguar XJ220. Illustrated with b/w photographs and illustrations. 72 pages. Softcover. 8" x 11.5". A magazine named 'XJR magazine - the International Jaguar Racing Review' existed for a while, at least in 1989 (issues number 6, 7, 8, 9 are known, plus the 1988-89 Special Issue, the Souvenir Edition USA). It discusses every race and the Jags that participated. Includes large two-page race photos. In 2004, 'TWR Jaguar Prototype Racers' was issued by the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust, written by Leslie Thurston. It is a hard cover book with a dust jacket, 192 pages, estimated 350 color photos, and ISBN 0-9541039-1-2. It includes statistics of all individual chassis, but not too many photos of the internals like engine and cockpit (some 1/10 of the photos).
I have found only a few modeling articles on these cars. Tamiya Model Magazine No 17 (spring 1989) has an article on the Hasegawa XJR-8 and XJR-8LM, but is not very interesting (of the 'and then I painted the body white and applied the decals' type). Scale Models January 1989 has a five-page article that is also rather generic, but at least features 5 pictures of the real thing, including detail pictures. The March 1991 of Car Modeler magazine (USA) included part two of a Jaguar XJR-9 article, but I haven't seen and therefore cannot comment on the contents. MRRN (Motor Racing Replica News, now MRM) issue #14 had a very detailed three page article about converting the Tamiya model into the 1990 Le Mans winning XJR-12. For modelers planning to detail the engine bay completely, I can recommend a booklet called 'Model Detailing Profile: Jaguar XJR V-12 Prototype Sports Car Racing Engine'. This 10 page booklet discusses the complete plumbing of the engine using five pages of text and six drawings. See the Speed Details Publications website of author Stephen Miller for ordering information.
Race car walkarounds are pretty rare on the net. Here are the others I found so far: